How to reduce your home
Insurance quotes are based on perceived risk: those of burglary,
fire and flooding being three of the more obvious ones. But whilst
there's not a lot you can do if a local river breaks its banks and
comes heading your way, there are measures you can take to minimise
the other two and so, hopefully, lower your contributions.
There are various ways to make your house less attractive to
burglars. Looking like you have nothing worth stealing is a good
one, but probably won't make much difference to your premiums.
Fitting an approved burglar alarm will though, to the tune of a
potential 7.5% reduction. Approved locks to your windows and doors
will likewise earn you a discount of up to 5%. The bonus you pay to
insure high value items such as jewellery can also be somewhat
offset just by installing a safe. You may be able to negotiate
further discounts by fitting a chain to your front door or a spyhole,
both should certainly make you feel safer even if they don't result
in any financial benefit. Let your insurer know if you have a dog or
a noisy gravel drive, again, it may go in your favour.
Joining a neighbourhood watch scheme, plugging in a time-switch
light, installing external security lights and planting holly bushes
underneath your ground floor windows may or may not help cut down
the cost of your insurance. However, they will all discourage
If bicycles are included within your insurance quote, keep them in
your garden shed, locked up if possible. The shed itself should be
secured with a quality padlock.
At the end of the day, the more you can convince your insurer that
you have taken every conceivable step to deter thieves, the better
your chances of achieving a significant price reduction.
Taking steps to protect your house against fire sounds like it
should be a no-brainer, however, you would be surprised by how many
people make no significant effort to safeguard either themselves or
their property. Smoke alarms in landing and hallway are basic common
sense, as is a fire extinguisher and/or blanket in the kitchen. All
may save your life, all could save you money.
One thing that just about every insurer will ask is whether you are
a smoker. If this is the case, now would be a really good time to
try and give up. Not only will you feel better, you'll spend less on
your shopping bill and less on your insurance.
Again, it is all about showing your insurer that you are serious
about looking after your property.
There are other things you can do which don't involve making changes
to your property. One is to pay a higher rate of excess to lower the
premium, another is to make your insurer aware of any no claims
history you may have. This latter can result in up to a 20%
discount. Also, if you pay the annual premium up front this can
often reduce the total amount paid.
Finally, take care not to overinsure or underinsure your property.
The first will have you paying more than you need to, the latter
will have you struggling to replace what you have lost. Bear in mind
when you take out buildings cover that it should only cover the cost
of rebuilding your house and paying for your temporary
accommodation; it's not a reflection of the market value of the
At the end of the day you want the right cover at the best price.
Here's hoping that you never have to claim on it.
Copyright Dawn Phillips All